Friday, November 13, 2009

Rabbit Rescue

By Brianne Harrison

Many of us believe that the people who owned animals that needed to be rescued must be monsters—how could any feeling person neglect an innocent, trusting animal? But the truth is, oftentimes these people aren’t monsters. Many are ill and can no longer care for their pets properly, but like many animal lovers, they’re reluctant to relinquish those pets they love so much.

This was the case with a recent rescue by the Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital and the New Jersey House Rabbit Society. An elderly owner had become ill and could no longer care for the 14 rabbits in their care. The rabbits were living outside and lacked adequate food, water, and shelter.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending. The rabbits were rescued and taken to the Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, which is now caring for them, giving them medical exams and performing spays and neuters. They will be available for adoption starting Sunday, November 15.

Anyone interested in adopting a rabbit may visit the candidates at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital (225 Monmouth Rd., Oakhurst) from 3:30 to 6 p.m. In addition to showing the rabbits, Dr. Michael Doolen, a veterinarian with the hospital, will give a presentation on rabbit health care. The event is free, but anyone interested should RSVP to

Pet Health Alert
PetSmart is voluntarily recalling Dentley’s Bulk Cattle Hooves and Dentley’s 10 Pack Beef Hooves due to potential salmonella contamination. If you purchased either of these products between Oct. 2 and Nov. 3, please return them to your nearest PetSmart store for a complete refund for exchange.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Right Stuff(ing)

By Judith Garfield

Ready to buck tradition and surprise your family with a new and exciting stuffing dish this Thanksgiving?

I think not.

There are as many variations on stuffing (or dressing as they politely call it in the South) as there are imaginative cooks, but that’s no reason for me to abandon my remarkably simple, delightfully ordinary, completely delicious bread stuffing. Stuffing is a personal thing and we all have our ideas of what tastes best. People can be quite attached to their childhood favorite and would never think of trying something new.

I must admit I fall into this camp. I liken my stuffing to the quintessential little black dress. Simple, classic, and unadorned. You will not find any thing resembling fruit, nuts, or sausage in my loveless stuffing. No cranberries, water chestnuts, mushrooms or olives. And cornbread is out of the question.

Sure, you could probably make a tasty stuffing with one or more of those ingredients, but for me, less is more. One Thanksgiving my friend brought her stuffing that she couldn’t stop talking about-cornbread, apples, walnuts, etc. I made my version and both were passed around the table. You know where this is going. First helping-tie. Second helping-loveless by a knockout.

Here’s my recipe. As usual, proportions are approximate. Serves 10 to 12.

1/2 stick of butter
2 c. chopped celery
2 med. onions, diced
a loaf of white bread (20 ounce size)
a loaf of oatmeal or whole wheat bread
turkey liver (take it out from inside turkey)
2 eggs
1 c. water or chicken broth

Toast the bread lightly and cube it. Sauté the turkey liver, onions, and celery in the butter. Add this mixture to the bread with the eggs and water. Mix well. Hands work best. Season with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of dried sage. Stuff your bird and put any leftover in a baking dish. Cook the extra with the turkey for last thirty minutes.

I usually never have leftover stuffing to eat with my leftover turkey, but if I did I would put it on a nice sourdough roll with cranberry sauce and herbed mayo- Thanksgiving on a roll.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Table Whining

By Maureen C. Petrosky

If your family is anything like ours there’s always wine on the table. Nonna’s favorite is Prosecco, and Pop is happy with whatever you’re pouring. The rest of us have dramatically different tastes when it comes to what we choose to put in our glasses, just as our views on politics, relationships, and life in general vary considerably. With the holidays at our heels the inevitable family feasting and fevered table topics are just a beat away. This year I’m looking for light and lively conversation and a wine to please the masses.

My nightly ritual of polishing the glassware, getting the wine key--yes I still prefer the good ol’ fashioned kind--and picking which wine to review is so engrained I often forget that everyone doesn’t do this. I can go for days sipping simple wines that are fine but without anything special or striking, and I can also hit streaks of wine more worthy of cleansing the sink drain than my palate. It’s the bottles that surprise me that I always hold in my heart. This one in particular went under the radar. Lacking a fancy label, steep price tag, and ridiculously heavy bottle this simple red from the South West of France made me smile at first sip- Les Vignes Retrouvees, Saint Mont, 2006, $11.

When I asked my husband and tasting partner what he thought of it, he responded, “ It’s good. It’s like a table wine.” I was surprised he missed the supple mouth feel, the soft and soothing body, and the finesse in the finish. The fruits were ripe, red, and harmonious with the tannins. Indeed, it was a perfect table wine--one that won’t offend most foods, and one that is sure to entice many into a second or third pouring. While at first I took offense to his comment, I came around to see that it was a huge compliment to the wine, not a crack at it. Able to amicably finish the bottle in one sitting, we decided it was the perfect fit for our next gathering of family and friends. More importantly, it made me so excited to discover what else is pouring from the South West of France!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Perfect Party

By Brianne Harrison

The holiday season is upon us once again, which means parties, which means stress for the host(ess). But if you’re going to be in the Princeton area Friday evening, you may want to check out an event that’ll help make your next soiree a smoother affair.

CoolVines is joining forces with Miele Gallery to present “The Perfect Holiday Cocktail Party: Easy Appetizers and Wines.” Holly Curry, Miele’s Home Economist, and Mark Censit, the owner of CoolVines, will be on hand to teach you how to make some simple yet delicious hors d’oeuvres and pair them with your favorite wines.

Sample blue cheese dip with kettle chips, spicy grilled Brazilian shrimp, Manchego and tomato toasts, and berry mascarpone cream with cinnamon sugar chips while you learn about this season’s hottest vintages in Miele’s beautiful gallery.

Cost is $15 per person. Register with Vicki Robb at 800.843.7231 x 2515 or e-mail Miele Gallery, 9 Independence Way, Princeton.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Border Crossings

By Pat Tanner

Goodness knows I relentlessly extol the virtues of New Jersey restaurants and chefs to anyone who will listen - in print, in person, over the airways. But I also dine regularly in the megalopolises to our east and west, and the two outstanding and especially well priced meals described below give me a reason to tout our state for something often used to disparage it: being a mere “crossroads.” To me, we get the glories of New York and Philadelphia without the hassles of living in a big city.

Anthos, NYC. The handsome contemporary surroundings and accomplished modern Greek cooking of chef/co-owner Michael Psilakis are enough to make this midtown spot a draw. Add in a three-course pre-theater dinner at only $35 and it’s a no-brainer. Choices are limited but appealing across the board, and they include such high-end proteins as roast saddle of lamb (flavored, btw, with cinnamon and accompanied by cauliflower and stuffed grape leaves). Chicken poached in olive oil is to die for, and the olive oil ice cream that accompanies chocolate pudding cake will have you wishing for more. Add in a platter of complimentary mezes, a fabulous breadbasket, and utterly accommodating service and it’s hard to find a better bargain the Big Apple.

Bibou, Philadelphia. When my favorite finicky Frenchman recommends a French bistro, I know I’m in for a good meal. Even going in with high expectations, this tiny b.y.o.b. on South Eighth was able to wow me. Owners Pierre and Charlotte Calmels are, between them, alums of Le Bec-Fin, Daniel, and Brasserie Perrier. Between his cooking and her spot-on dining room management, the place practically levitates. Imagine impeccable consommé with sweetbreads for $8, foie gras over pain d’epices and with caramelized quince for $15, and pig feet stuffed with foie gras for $25. Nightly specials round out the short menu, and on my visit included a soulful pheasant stew over pillowy spaetzle. Fresh plum tart, “Mimi’s” chocolate cake with crème anglaise, and excellent French press coffee made me feel like I was in Paris. Note: cash only.